As It Happens

Powerball jackpot blunder may have nixed shop owner's Disneyland dreams

For a few sweet moments on Thursday morning, Sonny Singh thought he was going to get a $50,000 US cheque from the Massachusetts Lottery.
Sonny Singh and his wife pose behind the counter at Handy Variety in Watertown, Mass. (Sonny Singh)

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For a few sweet hours on Thursday, Sonny Singh thought he had enough money to pay all his bills, take his kids on vacation and still have cash to spare.

Massachusetts Lottery announced Thursday morning that Singh's shop, Handy Variety in Watertown, had sold the winning Powerball jackpot ticket. With a jackpot of $758 million US, he would have gotten a bonus of $50,000. 

"I was ready to do back flips all the way through my store, man, you know?" he told As It Happens guest host Jim Brown.

He immediately started planning how he would spend it.

"It was so, so crazy," he said. "I was thinking about taking a vacation, you know, paying off my car, pay some bills and save some money, man."

He even woke up his kids and told them they were going to Disneyland. 

"They were just jumping up and down when they heard that," Singh said. 

When Singh strolled into work that morning, Handy Variety was already packed with TV news crews interviewing his wife about the winning ticket.

But shortly before 8 a.m., it all came crashing down. The lottery announced  it had made a mistake, and that the winning ticket was sold at the Pride Station & Store in Chicopee, about halfway across the state.

Bob Bolduc, founder and owner of Pride stores, smiles as he takes questions from members of the media during a news conference at the Pride Station & Store, where the winning ticket for the Powerball was sold. (Steven Senne/Associated Press)

One of the reporters broke the news to Singh.

"I'm like, what? That was a big let down," he said.

Massachusetts Lottery executive director Michael Sweeney said officials were manually recording the names of the retailers that sold the winning ticket and transcribed it incorrectly. Handy Variety had, in fact, sold one of two $1-million winning tickets.

That's a balm for Singh, who says he'll still get a bonus of about $10,000.

And while he's had to scale back his fantasy spending, he admitted he could still use the smaller bonus to swing a Disneyland trip. 

After all, he promised his kids. 

"I can still probably do it," he said. "What can you do, man?"

With files from Associated Press